GSA Leads Way Among Agencies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The General Services Administration is leading the way among federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After a new executive order requiring federal agencies to cut greenhouse gas emissions was issued by President Obama, the agency announced that it would be launching a pilot program that would encourage vendors and contractors to make public their greenhouse gas emissions.





Executive Order


The order was signed on March 19th by President Obama and requires that federal agencies cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 40% over the next ten years. Agencies would also have to increase the amount of renewable energy they use to 30% of their overall energy use over the same time frame. Overall, this would save federal agencies $18 billion.
“The new executive builds on a previous 2009 executive order asking agencies to cut greenhouse gases by 17 percent and increase renewable energy use to 9 percent,” according to the Federal Times.


A number of federal contractors announced that they would make their own efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “The combined agency reductions and deferral contractor commitments will reduce emissions by 26 million metric tons by 2025 from 2008 levels, the equivalent of taking nearly 5.5 million cars off the road for a year.”


The order also has a number of other new requirements for federal agencies. Agencies must cut energy use in federal buildings by 2.5% a year, and water use by 2% a year, for the next 10 years. Agencies also must get 25% of their total energy use from clean energy sources by 2025. Federal fleets must release 30% fewer emissions by 2025.




The GSA said in a statement that it was looking forward to expanding its energy efficiency efforts. One key component of this is the agency’s energy savings performance contracts, which “allow contractors to pay for and install energy efficiency upgrades in buildings in exchange for payments from reduced energy bills.”


Federal buildings make up 98% of the GSA’s operational greenhouse gas emissions. The agency announced its plan to use energy savings performance contracts and other retrofitting measures to reduce emissions from federal buildings.


The GSA also launched a pilot program that will encourage vendors and contractors to release figures regarding their greenhouse gas emissions. The agency’s pilot program will launch with CDP Supply Chain, a third-party carbon reporting system used by over 70 major companies,” according to Washington Technology. “GSA has invited around 120 companies to participate in its pilot program.”


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